Thursday, December 17, 2015

Waiting

In life, we often find ourselves waiting for things. Sometimes it's things like waiting for dinner to cook (it smells so good, and you're so hungry, you just want to eat it NOW), waiting for the tap water to heat up, or waiting for that boring commercial break to finally end. Other times it's waiting for things you're looking forward to but seem so far away, like Christmas. Then there's the sort of waiting we absolutely hate. And if you're in a hurry, or so ill you could just expire right there in front of the vitamin aisle, it takes longer.
I remember when I was sick with bronchitis as a child. It was taking forever for the pharmacy to fill the prescription, and we had been waiting for a while. Feeling tired, sick, unhappy, and impatient, I started complaining about how long it was taking, and how ridiculous it was that we had to wait so long. One of the adults in line commented that I was saying what everyone else was thinking.
More recently, we went to get a tire replaced. The left front tire wasn't holding air very well, and we were tired of constantly having to pump air into it. So we waited while they changed and rotated the tires. And we waited. And we waited. I hadn't slept well, and was really tired that day. I eventually gave up on reading, as my mind would not focus. People came and went, and we were still there.
After a couple of hours, they finished, and we left. Later on, though, we discovered that we still had the bad tire; they replaced the wrong one. So we had to go back. Luckily, they still had the good tire they'd taken off previously. They put it back on and got rid of the bad one, no charge for their mistake. Even so, my mother isn't planning to return to that place.

Luckily, we generally aren't left waiting forever for something to happen. The wondrous-smelling dinner eventually is ready to eat, the tap water heats up, commercial breaks don't last forever, and Christmas Day finally comes. Although we'd love to get rid of the entire concept of having to wait for things, waiting is a part of life, and we must accept it despite the frustration that sometimes comes with it.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

No One Can Please Everyone

You can't please everybody. No matter how hard you try, no matter how great you try to be, there will always be someone who isn't impressed. Even perfection doesn't please everyone. If you don't believe that statement, consider that an innocent man who had never done anything wrong was arrested for a crime he did not commit. He was beaten, flogged, spat on, insulted, mocked, and finally nailed to a wooden crucifix by his hands and feet.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

If Characters Became Real, Vol. I

In books, plays, movies, TV shows, our imaginations, and many other places, there are fictional characters. These characters live out fascinating lives, sometimes in alternate realities, different time periods, or in fictional worlds.
But what if these fictional characters were to end up in the real world? How might they handle this sudden change, especially if the real world is entirely different from the reality they live in? It's a rather interesting thing to ponder, and could lead to all sorts of crazy things if it were to occur. In this series of posts, we will begin to explore the many 'what if' scenarios associated with fictional characters becoming real.
If anyone has suggestions for future disasters scenarios, please let me know in the comment section below.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Snowball Fight

My parents and I went to visit my brother, who was working in Yosemite at the time. It was around winter-time, and there was snow, wondrous, glorious, beautiful snow.
My brother and I decided we would have a snowball fight. Of course, he automatically had an advantage over me, because I had little experience with snow, due to snow deprivation from living in places where it rarely snows. He, on the other hand, had lived in many places where it snowed frequently.
While I worked feverishly to form my misshapen snowballs, which weren't really balls at all, my brother was forming his superior snowballs. We soon began the battle. My terrible aim, which has made many a P.E. teacher pity me, or pity themselves for being stuck with an untalented, non-athletic person like me, prevented me from hitting him with many of my mutant snow lumps.
Meanwhile, my brother was making excellent progress. I was hit a few times, and finally one of the snowballs hit me right in the face. My brother stood before me, brushing the snow from my face, while I blindly punched him in the stomach and he said, "I'm trying to help you!"
Needless to say, my brother won the Great Snow War of Yosemite, and the Armed Forces declared me to be 4-F. Today, I prefer to sit in front of the heating vent, drinking Nesquik and reminiscing about my glory days. I then proudly show my guests the medal I was awarded before I was retired from the 76th Battalion of the Iced Forces, which is inscribed, 'In honor of Meowmocha, who survived despite her total incompetence'.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Bottomless Pit

Throughout the time my brother was growing up, he was always a head taller than the rest of the class, and very thin. When he was taken to the doctor for a checkup, the doctor would tell our mother, "He's underweight. You need to feed him more."
My mother replied, "He eats three or four meals a day, and has peanut butter and jelly sandwiches between meals. How much more can I feed him?"

Friday, November 20, 2015

Milch

My parents were living on a base in Germany when my brother was born. Sometimes they bought American milk, and sometimes they bought German milch, which is processed differently than American milk.
When my brother, then a baby, was given a bottle of milch, he would happily suck it down within a short period of time. When he was given American milk, however, it was another story. He would take a sip, then throw it down as though utterly disappointed by it. After several minutes, he would pick up the bottle again, give it an experimental suck, then throw it down again, disgusted by the inferior liquid. It would often take him well over an hour to finish a bottle of the American milk.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Writing Speed

Sometimes, writing comes quickly and flows well. Other times, a cloud of ADHD floats into the room and hovers over a person's head, making it difficult to make much progress. Below is an example of the writing process during a time of short attention span.

"You've got to be one of the craziest-"
Let's see, what word shall I use to complete the sentence? Hmm, how does my character speak again? What sort of words does he use? Let me just go back and look. Okay, I've decided on a word.
"-blokes-"
Great, my parents are calling me. Better go see what they want. Okay, I'm back now.
"-I've ever seen."
There's that gnat again. Die! (clap, clap) Cool, I got it. Of course, now I have to wash my hands.

Monday, November 2, 2015

How to Tell if You're Not Athletic

Some people are better at sports and other strenuous activities than others. While there are those who can run ten miles and juggle fifty objects at once, others struggle with the simplest of tasks. Here are some ways to tell if you're destined not to be an athlete.

  1. You duck because something was flying toward your head, but it turns out to be the shadow of a ball that is ten feet away from you.
  2. You're crouching at the start line for track tryouts, but when the high school coach blows the whistle for everyone to start running, you slip on the dirt and face-plant.
  3. You struggle with a three-pound dumbbell.
  4. You tried to learn how to jump rope, but became hopelessly tangled up, and it took four people to finally free you.
  5. You reach up to catch the frisbee, but it collides with your face instead, leaving you with a bloody nose.
  6. You find yourself out of breath during P.E., and it was just the warm-up before the actual activity.
  7. You have a phobia of someday being killed by an airborne football.
  8. Your most embarrassing moment was when you got onto the treadmill, and it started at maximum speed when you turned it on, causing you to fly across the room and smash through a window.
  9. You can relate to Charlie Brown when he strikes out in baseball for the umpteenth time in his life.
  10. When playing sports, you often score points for the other team by mistake.
  11. Your friend bought you a tennis racket for your birthday, and you thought it was a cheese grater.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Talky Tina

In episode 126 of 'The Twilight Zone', a little girl receives a doll named Talky Tina. The step-father is hostile toward the little girl and also hates the doll, and to his shock, the doll begins saying threatening things to him. My friend and I have both watched this episode, and she finds the doll to be rather creepy, which brings me to my story.
My friend's mother was driving the car, my friend was in the front passenger seat, and I was directly behind my friend in the back seat. We had just left Bible study that evening, and it was dark as we headed down the road. My friend and I were discussing the 'Talky Tina' episode, and how my friend found the doll featured in it to be creepy. Joking around, I said, "Hello, my name is Talky Tina, and I'm going to kill you." just as the doll did in the show, then acted like I was going to put my hands around my friend's neck.
To my surprise, my friend screamed and lurched forward in her seat. Her mother's hearing may never be the same again in her right ear, and I might have unintentionally frightened a few years from my friend's life.
This is why my friend doesn't watch horror films.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Choose Words Carefully

A few days ago, I looked up to see a scorpion sitting on the ceiling, next to the wall. I grumbled to myself, "Great, a scorpion. I don't like scorpions. Scorpions are icky. I don't want to see a scorpion."
A moment later, the scorpion turned around and crawled into the wall, vanishing from sight.
I need to choose my words more carefully. For all I know, that scorpion is still in the house, alive and well.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Motivations to Exercise

For many people, playing a video game or staring at the television while eating chips is preferable to physical exertion. In this post, I've compiled a list of things which can motivate even the couch potato to exercise.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Truth About Famous People

We often read books, watch TV shows, or listen to songs. But have you ever wondered what it might be like to actually meet some of these people? Would it be as you expect it to be, or would these people be entirely different from you had expected.
Imagine for a moment that you're arriving at a house, and a man and woman come out to meet you. "I'm Mrs. King. It's a real pleasure to meet you." the woman says, shaking your hand. "And this is my husband, Stephen. He's a bit disturbed, so try not to make any sudden movements." Then Stephen King cackles like a madman.
Or perhaps you're arriving at the house of a brilliant person who believes in peace across the nations, and that people should get more in touch with nature and less in touch with staring mindlessly at electronics. Naturally, you're dying to meet this person and tell him how much you admire him. Upon knocking, one of his friends answers the door. "Oh, you wanted to meet him? That's great! We're in here, having a marathon of 'Halo 2'. We've been at it for nine hours so far. Hey, Thom, use the hand grenade! Watch out, he's going to blast you to smithereens!"
Maybe you're meeting that actor in those action movies. He does his own stunts, balks at no thing regardless of how reckless or dangerous it is, and is absolutely cool. Finally the moment arrives, and you get to meet this person. Then he sees a tiny daddy long-legs, screams like a girl, and runs out the door, never to be seen again.
There's a person who's written cookbooks for how to make homemade candies and cupcakes. They've also published a series of children's books about unicorns, which your niece loves. You're rather excited to meet this person. You arrive and search for them, but all you see is a man wearing a leather jacket, camouflage cargo pants, and at least a dozen piercings. He's also 6'10, looks like he's been training at the gym since he could walk, and is covered in tattoos. Despite how intimidating the man looks, you decide to ask him where the author is. He pauses from sharpening his machete, looks up at you, and replies in a gruff voice, "I'm him."

Sunday, October 18, 2015

How To Humiliate Yourself

Throughout our lives, we witness many blunders, or make some of our own. Today I will list off a few things that are important not to do in order to prevent embarrassment.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Tax Collector

In Luke 18:9-14, Jesus tells a story about a Pharisee and a tax collector. The Pharisee enters the temple and prays to God. It is obvious by his words that he feels he is more righteous than most any other man, and he acts haughty.
The tax collector, however, does not enter the temple at all. Instead, he stands at a distance from it. He does not even look up toward Heaven, but simply beats his chest and cries out, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
Lately the tax collector in that story has entered my mind a lot. No matter what, we are still sinners. Even when we want to follow God, our laziness, our wickedness, our very flawed natures get in the way of it. We feel unworthy, and nothing we do is good enough, even when we try. At times we feel like the tax collector. We do not even feel worthy of entering the temple or being near it, or worthy to even look God in the eye. We bow our heads in shame, we lower our eyes, and make a simple plea in our wretchedness.
Sometimes all we have in us is a cry for forgiveness, even though we deserve nothing. Sometimes the only way we feel worthy enough is to admit to ourselves that we will never be worthy enough. Sometimes the closest thing we can do to truly comprehending God's greatness, is to confess that we will never truly comprehend His greatness.
I am the wretch, I am the unworthy sinner, I am the unrighteous wrongdoer. I don't try hard enough, and I will never be good enough. I stray from what is good, I am not thankful enough, I do not understand God enough. All I have is a piteous plea for mercy.
I am the tax collector.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Typos and Other Misadventures

I started writing this fantasy story, and was really getting into it. After a couple of pages, though, I started feeling tired, and thought to myself, Maybe I should go to bed. Daylight Savings Time had recently occurred, and I had stayed up rather late the night before. Nevertheless, I really wanted to keep writing.
However, after the woman walked in and set the door on the counter, and the girl was too wary of her to sit down on the cough, I decided I should stop for the night.
Typos can create interesting results, sometimes reaching fantastic proportions. Am I the only one who has typed a word, then realized I hit all the wrong keys, in the wrong order, and created utter gobbledygook unrecognizable as the word I meant to type?
Or there are just certain typos that are easy to make, typos that are rather common. We ought to make typos such as 'sotry' into real words, just so we can say "Well, technically it's a word".
And of course, there's the fact that the 'Caps Lock' button is placed rather inconveniently, making it easy to accidentally hit it when reaching for another key. I don't know how many times I've  been typing, then looked up at my screen and saw that an entire sentence was in capital letters.
I'm also talented at occasionally reaching for Backspace and pressing F11 instead, and OpenOffice brings up a menu I didn't want. But at least I haven't mistakenly pressed the 'Self-Destruct' key yet. (Why do they make those self-destruct buttons on everything when they know cartoon characters are so clumsy?)
However, some of the mistakes made are simply because our brain messed up. Setting the door on the counter just can't be excused as an error in typing. Nor can the infamous typing the same words twice in in a row. Despite how frustrating these errors can be, though, you have to admit that some of them are worth a laugh.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Containers

Ah, the plastic container. Perfect for putting away those leftovers you just couldn't eat. Of course, the plastic containers are not without their imperfections.

Take, for example, the dreaded lids. You take out a container, then search for the lid that matches it. Finally, you find a lid of the precise shape and size you need. You then put everything into the container and try to put on the lid. Despite the fact that the lid should fit, it won't go on. Perhaps it's one of those containers where the lid is simply finicky. You try harder. You use a different tactic. Still it won't seal.
Then someone walks by and looks at what you're doing. "That's the wrong lid." they say.
"What? This is the right lid!" you exclaim in frustration. "It's the same size and shape as the container!"
"No." they reply. "That's the lid that goes to the container that looks similar to that one."
"AUGH!"

Then there's the containers that are all identical to each other. You grab them from the dishwasher and go stack them up in the cupboard. That's when you realize that the size of the containers differ by one millimeter, so they're not stacking properly. You then go through an elaborate ritual to get them stacked properly by their corresponding (and almost imperceptible in difference) size. This issue, of course, often corresponds with the issue of lids that look like they fit but actually don't.

This, of course, is all an ingenious scheme. People in the container companies plot evil things. "Now, we'll sell this set, then the next year, we'll sell another set that's very similar-looking, but the lids from the previous set won't fit the new set! And we'll make the shapes and sizes differ very slightly, in such a way that nothing will fit properly or stack properly! Mua ha ha!"
Scientists are actually supporting this horrible thing. They're running a study on how these types of frustrations affect the sanity levels of people. So far, hundred of people have gone mad and thrown lids and containers out of second-story windows because none of the lids fit any of the containers. And another thing: scientists have designed tiny robots that sneak into people's houses undetected and steal random lids and containers. "I could have sworn we had the lid that fit this container." Not any more, you don't.

The moral of the story: Keep your doors and windows locked, don't trust plastic containers, join a support group, and invest in a lifetime's supply of Ziploc bags. Oh wait, the zipper broke...

Monday, September 14, 2015

Long-Distance Nap

I recall one day when I decided to call one of my friends. She soon came onto the line, sounding tired. She explained that she had just got back from a long trip and was worn out.
Nevertheless, we ended up talking for a while anyway. The conversation was rather interesting, as she would frequently say something, and later forget she had ever mentioned it. She had invited me to come over to her house later at least fifty or sixty times during the time we were on the phone, and when I pointed out that she had already done so, she had no recollection of it.
At one point, she grew quiet for a long while, and I started saying her name and trying to get her attention. The silence lapsed for a few minutes, until finally she returned. She apologized for falling asleep, and I suggested that perhaps she should get some sleep and call me back later.
When we did talk later, she was more rested and her memory was better. She still didn't remember much of what she had said to me in our prior conversation, though, and invited me to her house again.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Wonders of the Womb

A newborn baby faces many strange things when they enter the world. They have spent the last several months in a nice, dark, warm place. They get free food, free lodging, and free tickets to concerts by bands like Heartbeat.
When they're born, however, they are suddenly forced into a world that is cold, loud, and has painfully bright light. Therefore, it is no small wonder that they come out with their eyes tightly shut and have little interest in opening them, and that they sometimes cry even when their parents have tried everything to make them happy again.
Even stranger, they are put into these odd things called clothes, which makes most of their body vanish. I could have sworn I had fingers and toes when I was born. What happened? Everyone else around me has them.
Another oddity is that food no longer magically appears inside of their bellies. Gradually they must learn that there is another use for their mouth than sucking their thumb. Again I ask, where is my thumb? I'm really starting to miss having it.
There are also these odd people, who the baby has never seen in their life, but vaguely recalls their disembodied voices yacking at them, accompanied by something touching the walls of the infant's room, as though they thought it fascinating to feel the baby practice their left hook. Now these people have bodies which can be seen, and which they use to pick up the baby and put in odd-looking things like cribs, none of which are anything like that wonderful bed the baby once had when in that dark, peaceful room. Some of these people also claim to be the child's uncle, and speak to them as though they've known this uncle forever, when in reality the only time the uncle was anywhere nearby was when he talked to the baby before their ears had developed.
Another thing the baby sorely misses about the womb is that it muffled some of those loud, annoying sounds. Now people laugh much louder, and that yapping of that scruffy little dog is much more irritating.
As a result of all these things and many more, it's no small wonder that some mothers complain about their baby's due date being long gone, yet the child is still stubbornly refusing to move out of their lovely room. Obviously these children heard from someone or suspected for themselves that the outside world isn't all it's cracked up to be, and so are choosing to remain in that nice place they've lived for so long. Pretty wise, if you ask me.

Monday, August 31, 2015

How to Identify a Nerd

A list of ways to determine if you or someone you know is secretly a geek.

  1. They use strange technological terms that no one else understands. (Ex: "So I debugged the hard drive, reinstalled the driver, then overclocked the processor.")
  2. They know what Hypertext Markup Language is and how to use it.
  3. They can disassemble, repair, and reassemble a complex gizmo as though it's as easy as breathing.
  4. They programmed your garage door opener to turn your neighbor's television on and off.
  5. They use unusual references to pinpoint when certain events occurred. (Ex: "My eighth birthday party was shortly after the Nintendo DS was released.")
  6. They sometimes start their chat posts with "ooc:".
  7. They consider a wild party to be having a video game marathon with their friends all night.
  8. They carry an NES Zapper with them for protection.
  9. Their role model is a character from the 'Dragon Warrior' series.
  10. They consider their greatest achievement to be obtaining ten shiny Pokemon.
  11. They know what all those strange buttons on the DVD remote do.
  12. They spend seven hours making ASCII art.
  13. They often reference characters from online games in everyday conversation.
  14. They reward themselves for achievements by buying an upgrade for their computer.
  15. They are fluent in Klingon.
  16. They consider a great but exhausting weekend to be binge-watching 'Star Trek'.
  17. They programmed your car to play the 'Barney' theme song non-stop while a dinosaur dances around on the screen, as an April Fools' prank.
  18. They drive a hovercraft they built, rather than a regular car.
  19. They celebrate major holidays like Bill Gates' birthday, and the anniversary of Nintendo.
  20. They repaired your radio, and it now picks up signals from all over the world.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Painful Dreaming

There have been instances where something bad happens to a person in their dream, and they feel the pain of it. When they wake up, they still feel the same pain they experienced in their dream. Some say that this pain causes the negative event to occur in the person's dream. Others believe that this pain is caused by the event in their dream; that is, the pain felt is purely psychological and not based on actual illness or injury.
My brother has experienced this a few times, and thinks that the pain is caused by events of the dreams. In one dream he had, he had wings and was flying through the sky. Then the hand of God reached down and tore his wings off. My brother began to fall. Then he woke up with pain in his shoulder blades.
In another dream, my brother was an old man, and his pacemaker exploded inside of his chest. He then woke with chest pain, and it took him a moment to remember how to breathe again.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Pieface

At Vacation Bible School, the missions teacher announced the whichever class brought the most money for the mission funds would get to throw pies at our pastor and our VBS coordinator. The two top classes were only a dollar apart, so both of those classes got to do it. There were many ingredients for making the pies, including tuna, cranberry gelatin, oatmeal, whipped cream, yogurt, cheese sauce, peanut butter, maple syrup, and canned fruit.
Then the kids threw and smashed the pies into the faces of their victims. The pastor's head became a rather messy-looking rainbow, and the VBS coordinator's hair was slicked down and covered in glop. When her hair was rinsed with the hose, it gave off a peanut butter scent. She later said she felt like she had gotten pie up her nose.
Sadly, I didn't think to bring my camera, so I have no pictures.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Kitten

When I was young, I went to my friend's house, and there was a kitten there. I remember my friend's mother coming into the bedroom at one point with the kitten, probably to tell me goodnight. After she left, I had a feeling that the kitten was still in the room. Soon the kitten came onto the bed, and I began to pet it.
I heard footsteps coming down the hall, and feared my friend's mother had noticed the kitten's disappearance and was searching for it. I tried to push the kitten under the covers to hide it from her, but to no avail. She came in, found the kitten there, and took it out of the room with her, much to my disappointment.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Age is Relative

During Vacation Bible School, the teacher in the missions room was discussing the video the children had just watched.
"Now, did any of you see the old man who had to be carried to the lake to be baptized?" she asked the class.
Several kids said they had.
"And does anyone remember how old he he was?" the teacher continued.
One of the kids raised their hand. "Thirteen."
Apparently, he misheard the question. Either that, or anyone beyond the teenage years is ancient. Speaking of which, I think I'm starting to get some gray hairs...

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Legendary Brother

When my brother was a baby, my parents took him with them to go out to eat. They were sitting there enjoying their meals, when out of nowhere, an enormous belch filled the room. To their shock, the sound had originated from their young son. They stared at him in disbelief, trying to comprehend that such a huge noise had come from such a small person. Everyone around them was glaring at my parents, thinking that one of them made the sound and was blaming it on the baby. No one believed that my brother had actually created that legendary burp.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Time For Dad to Come Home

When my brother was a child, he could usually tell when our father was returning from work. When Mom started crying, it was almost time for Dad to come home.
"Dad!" he would say when our father arrived. "Mom's crying again!"
"Is she watching Little House on the Prairie?" Dad asked.
"Yeah." my brother would respond.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Finicky Doorknob

Back when my brother was a baby, my parents had a couple of friends, Tino and Timmy.
Once when Tino and Timmy were visiting my parents at the house, Timmy had to use the bathroom. My mother began to explain that the doorknob was rather persnickety. You had to jiggle it a certain way to get it to open. But Timmy wasn't listening, insisting he would be able to deal with the door.
Timmy left, and the others continued chatting with each other. After a while, they began to wonder why Timmy had been gone so long. Then they heard a small, whispering voice. "Tino. Tino!"
It was Timmy, trying to discreetly get his friend's attention, as he was unable to open the door and was trapped in the bathroom.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Mysteries of the Universe

Here's a list of some of the many mysteries of the universe.

  1. When you're driving down the road, birds tend to flee in a direction that puts them in your path, rather than away from the vehicle.
  2. Why they make a long pencil with forty years' worth of graphite, then stick a tiny eraser on it that lasts about three days.
  3. Why ladybugs hardly ever bite people, but think my father is a delicacy.
  4. Why people can remember the lyrics of songs and quote literature, but are unable to recall what countries fought in World War I or how to solve a three-variable equation.
  5. How you got that bruise or cut. It could have been the pointy edge of your desk, or bumping your knee on the bed frame, or a paper cut, or from aliens painting a blue spot on your arm to confuse you into believing you're injured.
  6. How you can easily find things in a cluttered mess, but are unable to recall where you put something five seconds ago.
  7. The ability of condiments and dessert toppings to defy gravity when you're trying to get them out of the bottle.
  8. How an annoying bug senses that you're planning to kill it, and promptly disappears in mid-air.
  9. The ability to become so engrossed in something that you completely shut out everything else around you. If the building were on fire, if people were screaming and running about in a panicked frenzy, my friend would just sit there and read.
  10. The illusion of time passing quickly or slowly. Sometimes these two overlap and create a paradox.
  11. The sensation of falling just as you're starting to go to sleep. Falling asleep isn't supposed to be taken literally.
  12. The ability of dreams to seem vividly real when you're asleep.
  13. Having a dream that seems familiar in a way, like you've had a dream before which involved these characters or the same setting. Yet, you can't actually recall having another dream with those similarities.
  14. The inability to find something you're searching for, despite it being in plain sight.
  15. Despite winding the cord around the vacuum canister carefully, the next time you use the vacuum cleaner, there's a knot in the cord.
  16. Debris spontaneously appearing in a spot you just vacuumed.
  17. Why the fitted sheet claims to match the size of your mattress, but never stays tucked in on all sides.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Trigger Thumb

When I was a kid, one day the joints in my thumb locked up. My parents said that it would unlock eventually. It stayed locked for a while, longer than it usually did, and I started to grow worried.
It finally unlocked later on that day, and I went to my mother to say that it finally unlocked. I was rather relieved, I told her, as I feared that my thumb might not unlock and it would have to be amputated. My mother thought that was hilarious.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Pesky Rooster

One of our friends went to his grandparents' farm, and there was a rooster which constantly bothered him, chasing and pecking at him. One day, while his grandparents were away, he saw a rather large bird of prey soaring through the air. The bird suddenly fell from the sky, and a moment later swooped down and grabbed the annoying rooster in its talons. As it began to ascend again, the rooster seemed to look at the man with a helpless expression. But he simply watched as the raptor flew off with the bane of his existence.
Later on, he informed his grandparents that the rooster had been taken by a bird of prey. When they asked him why he didn't try to save the rooster, he replied, "Hey, the rooster was giving me a run for my money. I wasn't about to take on the eagle!"

Monday, June 22, 2015

Things Never to Say

In stories and in real life, there are things that are simply a bad idea to utter. Here are a few examples.

  1. "What could possibly go wrong?" This is followed by things going wrong.
  2. "Could things get any worse?" Yes, they can.
  3. "It's perfectly safe." And then someone ends up in mortal danger.
  4. "Don't say that. You'll jinx it." Too late, they already said it and they already jinxed it.
  5. "Don't be ridiculous. There's no such thing." Yeah, there is such thing, and it's standing right behind you, ready to breathe fire on you and eat you.
  6. "Everything's under control." Sure, keep lying to yourself while everything turns to mass chaos.
  7. "He looks really scary and his face is on five thousand 'wanted' posters, but you can trust him." Then why is he holding a knife to my throat and saying he works for my worst enemy?
  8. "He won't bite." Then why am I missing some of my fingers?
  9. "Don't look down." Nothing makes you want to look down like being reminded that you're a million feet in the air and balanced precariously.
  10. "We won't get caught." Five minutes later, you're being dragged into a prison cell.
  11. "I have a bad feeling about this, but we're going to proceed anyway." Oh look, we just walked into an army of five thousand hungry zombies armed with bazookas!
  12. "Everything's been peaceful for a long time." You just jinxed it, and Smaug is headed right for you.
  13. "This will only hurt a bit." Then the dentist jabs a flaming katana, I mean needle, into the roof of your mouth.
  14. "This will be easy." Five years later, you're still trying to accomplish a task that should only take five minutes.
  15. "I know what I'm doing." Then why did the mutant dinosaur escape its enclosure on your watch, and why is it eating people and destroying everything?
  16. "I'll do it later." Then it never gets done.
  17. "We'll leave early to beat the crowds." Turns out everyone else had the same idea, and you get stuck in traffic and smothered by the huge crowds you thought you could evade.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Summertime is Here

Summertime is here
Filled with searing heat
Sun that all the people call
awful, hot, and bright

Pollen in the air
Mosquitoes everywhere
Sunny times and painful bites
and burned, peeling skin

Sunblock in the air
Sweating everywhere
Hundred-degree weather
Thousand-degree pavement

Summertime is here
Bugs are drawing near
Oh, how we hope to see
Winter drawing near

Monday, June 15, 2015

Precious Air

My father had been feeling short of breath for about a week. Thinking he must have bronchitis or pneumonia, we took him to the hospital to be checked out. They took him in immediately upon hearing he was short of breath. After doing tests, they discovered he had a heart attack.
That night when I went to bed, it took me a while to get to sleep. I kept thinking and worrying. Worse, I would start to doze off, then suddenly feel like I couldn't breathe, causing me to wake and take a gasp of air. It was likely just nerves messing with my mind. Despite telling myself this, I repeated it a few times more before finally getting to sleep.
The following day, I heard that Dad didn't have a very good night. At one point during the night, he suddenly felt like he couldn't breathe, and the doctors had to put him on oxygen. He told us that he had panicked when he found he was unable to breathe. My mother, who had asthma attacks as a child, said that she understood how he felt.
It all makes you realize just how precious air is.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Geese

When my grandmother was a child, her mother bought some geese. The idea was that she would keep these geese and get money by selling the eggs that they laid.
The geese were rather ill-tempered, and would frequently chase my grandmother and nip at her ankles. She soon began to hate the horrible geese. So she would wait nearby the nests, and when a goose sat own to lay an egg, she would reach through the fence with a stick and poke at the goose, bothering them and giving them no peace.
After a while, the geese weren't providing many eggs. Her mother eventually grew frustrated by this and got rid of the geese, thus ridding my grandmother of the bothersome creatures forever. My grandmother had won the war.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Restless Indecision

I've been feeling rather restless and indecisive lately. I feel like writing, but don't have a chance to when I want to. Then when I have time to write, I feel like staring at the television or playing video games. When I'm sitting at home, I feel like getting out of the house and doing something. When we're going to a doctor's appointment and a shopping trip, all I want is to go home and relax.
Perhaps my real problem lies in the desire to get away from the tedium, the running around, the stress. When I want to go home, what I really want is to escape sitting in a waiting room. When I want to get out of the house, what I really want is to do something fun, hang out with people, and not be bored or burdened with stuff I need to do. My mind wants to escape into a story when everything is happening at once, yet when I have nothing to do, my mind wants to relax and treasure not having stuff to do. But the fact that I need to stop sitting around creeps into my mind, making me feel frustrated from combined guilt and laziness.
Today, as I was questioning myself about what it was that I really wanted, I realized how much I'm looking forward to the day we've planned to go to the theater. It means I'm not running around the house doing various tasks, or sitting around the house with part of myself restless and part of me wanting to be a sloth. It means I'm not walking through the supermarket parking lot in the blazing heat, or watching my parents fill out the umpteenth medical form, or stuck in a long line because of construction being done on a road that doesn't really need construction. The theater means I'm hanging out with friends and family, enjoying myself and watching movies.
And as long as I'm thinking about that, I'd also like to fantasize about going to northern Alaska to escape the summer heat.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Chatty Cathy

After my friend's graduation party, her father stayed there and talked with her and her mother for a while. My friend eventually went to bed around midnight. Her mother and father stayed up a while longer, continuing to sit outside and chat with each other. After a while, they noticed something rather odd.
"Is that the sun over there?" they said in disbelief.
Her mother went into the house to look at the time. Upon coming back, she said, "You don't want to know what time it is."
Naturally, he asked what time it was anyway, to which she replied, "Five a.m."

When my friend's mother came to pick me up for church, she told me this story, then added that perhaps it was the reason she felt like she was losing her voice. Not only can she talk on the phone with my mother for three hours, she can sit outside and chat with a friend all night.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Million, Million Dollars

My friend plans to go to college. Of course, college costs a lot of money, and she and her mother weren't sure how they were going to pay for it. My friend signed up for multiple scholarships and prayed for the funds necessary for her college tuition.
Upon graduation day, they began giving out the awards and scholarships that the graduates had earned. My friend kept getting scholarship after scholarship, eventually ending up with over ten thousand dollars worth of scholarships. One of the people giving out the awards joked that she would likely get jumped by someone after the graduation ceremony.
Further proof that God provides... and that my friend is Superwoman.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Opportunistic Sleeper

My father has great talent at falling asleep in unusual circumstances.
For example, he once fell asleep while standing at attention. One of the men standing next to him was amazed.
Another time, he fell asleep sitting up with a glass in his hand. He didn't even drop the glass. My mother and her friend argued over who was going to take the picture.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Spell-check

One day I was writing a story, and started using the spell-check feature on the word processing program. Although spell-checking technology has come a long way, I have to say it still has its flaws, as you can see in the screenshot below.


Flawed Spell-check

Friday, May 15, 2015

The 'Calvin and Hobbes' Dream

In the comic strip series 'Calvin and Hobbes' by Bill Watterson, I have to admit Calvin has a pretty cool life.
For starters, he had a transmogrifier gun, which could change someone's form into both living and non-living things. He traveled through time and saw dinosaurs. He also rode a magic carpet, visited Mars, and met aliens. He was Spaceman Spiff and went on many adventures, he was a superhero known as Stupendous Man, and a carnivorous dinosaur species called the Calvinosaurus. And of course, he had an anthropomorphic tiger named Hobbes as a best friend.
So, is it any wonder that as a child, I often wished that I had some of this cool stuff? I imagine there were a lot of people reading the comic strip who also wished they could have some of these awesome things.
Of course, many of us did enjoy adventures like these. We imagined that our toys were living things and also our best friends, we dreamed so hard about being able to transform into an animal that it almost felt true, we became amazing heroes that defeated villains and saved lives, we rode our noble steeds (whether the traditional horse or a fierce dragon) through a fantasy world of our making, we had our dream house and dream life, and nothing was impossible if you believed in daydreams.
Over time, we begin to dream and fantasize less, and start to become more realistic. Some people 'grow up' more than others. Of course, a bit of dreaming is always healthy. Even if your dream is an unrealistic wish to grow wings and touch the clouds, it still grants a bit of fun to think about. And of course, some dreams may come true, like inventing something or having your dream career. Dreams are, in essence, a form of hope for the present and the future. They inspire us to believe in ourselves and others, inspire us to work toward our goals and make our dreams into our realities.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Unlucky Jeep

Our friend has recently been having trouble with her Jeep. First it needed a new radiator. Soon after getting it fixed, it started having problems because of malfunctioning computers, and had to be repaired once more.
Then her Jeep broke down again, and she had to call a tow truck to take it for repairs. Later on, she got a call. The towing company was very apologetic. They wouldn't be able to look at her car today, they said. The tow truck that was transporting her Jeep had apparently broke down. When she was driving to a concert in the car she borrowed from us, she saw a tow truck towing another tow truck that was towing her Jeep.
My mother says that our friend's car must be cursed. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Rednecks

At one point, I was thinking of various redneck jokes and started making new ones up.

If you've been driving for an hour and have only seen three other cars in all that time, and you consider that to be bad traffic, you might be a redneck.
If the worst traffic jam you've experienced all year was because of a cattle drive, you might be a redneck.
If your closest neighbor is five miles away, you might be a redneck.
If you regularly drive a tractor on the road, you might be a redneck.
If your car has been so filthy, for so long, that you've forgotten what the paint color is, you might be a redneck.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ways I'm Most Likely To Die

Because I'm somewhat insane, I decided to create a list of probable causes for my death.
CAUTION: May cause uncontrollable laughter, beverages shooting out of nostrils, shortness of breath, and aching sides.
  1. Being run over by a skateboarder. They come out of nowhere and zoom straight toward you, I swear...
  2. Die laughing, probably while listening to Bill Cosby or reading Adam Young's blog.
  3. Consuming too much of Taco Bell's awesome Fire sauce. Either my face will become engulfed in flame, or it will begin to melt.
  4. Die of fright. May be triggered by heights, or seeing a really big spider or scorpion.
  5. Clumsiness. Also known as tripping on a level floor, stubbing toe on hard object, bashing knee on sharp-edged furniture, landing on head, inertia then causing a tumble off cliff, where body will then be skewered by pointy rocks and end up in rapids.
  6. Being trampled to death by an arachnophobe who just saw a Goliath Birdeater tarantula.
  7. Being hit by a flying object during sports. Why they call it a softball is beyond me, as there's nothing soft about it.
  8. Gagging to death during a dentist appointment. Breathe through your nose, they say. Pay no attention to the fact that my hand is down your throat, they say.
  9. Being licked to death by my friend's over-friendly pit bull.
  10. The bugs finally get their revenge on me for all the friends and family of theirs I've killed, and a huge horde of them come at me with fangs, pincers, poison, and stingers. Or, if they're not bugs with defense mechanisms, they'll carry very tiny bazookas.
  11. During a time when I'm overly tired, have eaten too much sugar, or a combination of the two, people will grow so annoyed with my hyper and annoying behavior that they will kill me. And the body shall never be found.
  12. A freak accident involving a banana peel someone left on the ground.
  13. Being electrocuted because my hand accidentally touched a laptop's VGA port. I don't know how I do it sometimes...
  14. While walking on Bagel Street, a safe falls from a fifteen-story building and kills me.
  15. Die of boredom in a waiting room. It's a well-known fact that it takes seven hours to rotate a vehicle's tires.
  16. While attempting to figure out a cell phone, I-Pod, etc., I somehow anger the device, and it self-destructs out of spite.
  17. Perish from heatstroke in a busy store. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Still In Prayer

My father has an infection in his elbow, and at the site where the arteries from his leg for his bypass surgery. He'll have to be in the hospital for a while until the infection clears out, so please continue to keep him in your prayers for his recovery.

'Graystone' Has Arrived

So, I finally got the book I've been so eager to read. After ordering it online with one of the many gift cards I've accumulated, I waited with bated breath for the wonderful story to arrive. When we checked the mail today, there was a package which had a shipping and return address handwritten on it. Upon seeing 'Darkwoods Inc.' as the return address, I cried, "Yes!".
Upon getting into the house, I eagerly peeled away the clear duct tape and opened the package. Inside, I found 'Graystone', the third book of the 'Darkwoods series' by Marta Stahlfeld. The book was also signed by the author on the inside, which I found rather cool.
I also enjoyed the unique way the protective wrapping for the book was sealed. I will now associate the book and the author with 'Angry Birds' duct tape.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Diaries

A lot of people have kept, or perhaps still are keeping, a diary. I, on the hand, have never really been the sort of person to keep a diary.

When I was young, most of my entries were just random stuff that I wrote for fun, and of course I took pleasure in illustrating them. As I grew older, the diary was more frequently used to vent about something that upset me. But it wasn't very often that I wrote in it when I was upset. Sometime around junior high, I stopped writing in the diary altogether, and it just became part of the enormous collection of journals, sketchpads, and notebooks.
Part of the reason, I think, was because I never felt much of a need to write in it, and never really got into a habit of writing in it. The other reason was because when I looked back at some of the things I had written in the past, I hated them. It seemed that whenever I tried to express my emotions when upset, what I wrote didn't sound like me at all. It sounded like some messed-up or ungrateful kid. I sometimes over-exaggerated things, or complained about stuff that really didn't matter. At one point in time, I actually went through my diary and tore out all of the pages that I didn't like, and those pages were thrown away.

Then again, maybe the problem is something different entirely. Perhaps it's just a matter of perception, and how it often changes over time. The things that seem so important at the time are later seen as trivial. In the long run, that argument you had with someone is as significant as a single speck of dust amid miles of desert sand. And of course, there's the simple fact that a person's worst critic is themself. We tend to focus too much on our past mistakes and criticize ourselves too harshly.
So I don't really keep a diary. It's not the style I prefer to express myself in, and it didn't work well for me in the past. These days, I typically express my thoughts through poetry, fiction stories, or on my blog. It tends to work better for me, and I'm usually more satisfied with the result. Everyone has ways of expressing themselves, they just have to find what works best for them.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Best Sister Friend

I invited my friend over, and the following day we went out to do errands and take Dad to a doctor's appointment. My friend and I saw the movie 'Home', which was good. We also went to a crafts store, where we wandered around looking at interesting stuff until my mother called us because it was time to leave.
What was funny was that throughout the day, various people kept thinking that my friend and I were sisters. At one point, someone told my mom that she had beautiful daughters. I suppose we do look somewhat alike.
I joked that I don't have best friends, I have sisters. I've known some of my friends so long, and we both know each other's families so well, I suppose it's almost true. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Cyberpunk

A lot of people have heard of steampunk, an alternate reality where everything is powered by steam. There's also cyberpunk, an alternate reality which features advanced technology. Upon looking online, I found many more variants of this. I was in a bit of a silly mood, and couldn't resist putting the pun into punk.

Cyberpunk- What if robots try to take over the world? You will be assimilated....
Steampunk- Not sure it holds water.
Solarpunk- It seems like a bright idea.
Dieselpunk- I'm not sure we should fuel that idea.
Stonepunk- Now that really rocks.
Clockpunk- Give me time to consider it.
Elfpunk- It does make a couple of good points.
Mythpunk- I'm not sure that's possible.
Dreampunk- Get your head out of the clouds and be realistic.
Biopunk-  Efforts are unpredictable and could mutate into something bad.
Nanopunk- There's a small chance that could work.
Nowpunk- I'm currently considering this.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Characters: Good, Bad, and Ugly

There are many different character traits and personalities, and these play a role in which characters a reader or writer consider their favorites, or their least favorites.
For example, there are some people who like characters that are good-hearted, brave, kind, etc. On the flip side, some people get annoyed if a character has few, if any, flaws, and say that the character is too perfect or goody-goody.
A stubborn character who isn't afraid to speak their mind is also loved. Other people may find them to be rude or irritating.
And there are also people who find a strange attraction to antagonists. Whether they have a sharp tongue, are cunning, or are just cool-looking, some people enjoy these characters. Of course, there are others who just see an evil megalomaniac who is merciless, and they cheer when the bad guy is gone.

To further accentuate my point, let's take Jayfeather, a character from the 'Warriors' series by Erin Hunter. Jayfeather can be stubborn and sarcastic. He hates being treated helpless or inferior. But his wit, and his refusal to let things stop or slow him down, make him a character many people like. And despite his often prickly exterior, he cares about others and is a loyal friend. His intelligence, bravery, and good heart make him a valuable addition to the story.

In your opinion, what makes a good character, or a bad one? What makes them a favorite, or one you can't stand? Obviously character development, making them unique and realistic, is important. But to a certain extent, what makes a character good or bad is defined by the opinions of others. A character that one reader loves may be viewed as whiny and annoying by another reader. It's a unique blend of the writer's skill and effort, and the minds of the people reading the story.

Update

My father's doing better. He was discharged from the hospital a few days ago, and is getting some of his strength back. Thanks to everyone for their prayers.

Monday, March 16, 2015

In Prayer

My father hasn't been feeling well for a few days, and when we took him to the hospital yesterday, we found out that he had a heart attack. They found four blockages, and he had a quadruple bypass today. He's stable and recovering right now.
So everyone please keep him in your prayers for his recovery.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Large and Small Dogs

My aunt has a German Shepherd and a chihuahua. They bought large tennis balls for the German Shepherd, and smaller balls for the chihuahua.
Ironically, the larger dog seemed to like the tiny balls, chewing and slobbering on them, and sometimes leaving huge teeth marks with her powerful jaws. The chihuahua, on the other hand, was determined to carry around the tennis balls, her tiny mouth stretched wide to accommodate their large size.
It's almost as if the German Shepherd thought she was a small dog, and the chihuahua thought she was a large dog. And of course, the chihuahua also thinks she's as intimidating as a three-headed, fire-breathing Irish Wolfhound, when in reality she's the size of an ant and produces high-pitched yaps. It really terrifies the people who walk down the street, or the strangers that pull up into the driveway. If they're afraid of an adorable lap dog, that is. Funny how some dogs act like that, completely opposite of what you think a dog of their size would behave. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Calling All Rain

I called one of my friends whom I hadn't seen in a while, and was talking to her for a while. I mentioned that the forecast called for rain today, and I was hoping that the rain would start soon.
As we continued talking to each other, I started to hear something. It was finally raining! I looked out the window and saw the wonderful rain falling from the sky.
Then I remembered something, something unfortunate. You see, when it rains, the phone lines at my house often go out. Right after I mentioned this to my friend, I started to hear static in the phone, and it soon became difficult to hear my friend. Needless to say, I didn't stay on the phone for very long after that.
So our phones were out of commission for a short while. But good news! It rained!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Nutshells

Back when my mother and aunt were still kids, my grandmother started complaining about coming home and finding nutshells all over the floor. My mother and aunt insisted they hadn't left the shells there. My grandmother didn't seem to believe them; after all, what other explanation was there?
One day while my grandmother was at work and my aunt and mother were at home, they noticed their cat, Peanuts, jump onto the table. The black-and white cat batted a nut out of the bag, and after a few moments, finally batted it off the table and onto the floor. Their German Shepherd walked over, cracked the nut open in his jaws, then ate the nut inside. The he waited for his feline friend to bat another nut onto the floor, which the cat did, and he cracked it open and ate it. This process repeated itself for a while, until there was a mass of nutshell fragments strewn on the floor.
When my grandmother came home, my mother and aunt told her what had happened. And so, the mystery of the nutshells on the floor was solved.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Mechanical Bull

I remember being in early grade school, and my school was holding an event with fun games and other activities. A girl who was a few years older than me, and who occasionally babysat me, was supposed to take me there and watch me.
There were several different things to do there, but I recall that there was a mechanical bull. I had seen many kids ride the mechanical bull, including the girl I was with, and it looked like it would be fun. I kept asking her to take me over there so I could ride it, but she continually told me that I couldn't ride the mechanical bull. Regardless of whether she thought me old enough to ride it or not, I kept pleading with her to let me ride the mechanical bull. Finally, she relented and took me over there.
I got onto the bull when my turn came, and the bull started moving. It proved to be a lot more difficult than I thought to stay on it. I asked the man at the controls if he could turn it down, as I was having trouble staying aboard the contraption. But he said he couldn't decrease the difficulty, and I continued to struggle for a few long moments more before finally losing my balance entirely and tumbling off. I fell rather gracefully on my arm, which felt rather unpleasant, and the girl led me away.
I didn't ask about riding the mechanical bull again. I suppose I had learned my lesson after that.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Writing Critiques

I'm not which is easier for people: having someone you know and like critique your story, or someone that is a total stranger.
With a friend or family member, you trust and respect them, and their opinion means more to you than a stranger's opinion does. The impact of their opinion can be both a blessing and curse. If they like it, it means more than if a stranger says they like it. If they dislike it, it means more than if a stranger says they dislike it.

The odd thing about writing is that you feel unconfident about one story, but you feel more confident about another. I'm not sure how dependable those feelings are, though.
For example, I write four hundred drafts of my manuscript and always feel that I need to edit and polish it more before it's good enough for anyone else to see it. Sometimes I pluck up my courage and send a draft to my friend through e-mail to read. Five seconds later, I decide I need to change several aspects of the story, rewrite things, edit things, etc. Then when I see my friend later, I tell her to forget the draft I sent her, because it's way different now.
On the other hand, there was a short story I wrote a while back that I felt fairly confident about. Someone I know read it, and said they didn't really enjoy it and that it had a poor ending. Now that I think about it, I realize that it is a rather crummy storyline. I feel that I didn't execute it very well, and I don't know where my mind was when I ended the story. Was I in a hurry to complete the story, or couldn't think of a good ending? Either way, the ending isn't very good, and isn't really an ending at all. Nothing really changes for the better or the worse.
Sometimes when I look back at things I wrote or drew a long time ago, it seems like I see it in the same way I saw it then, rather than bringing any sort of present-day opinion into it. Does anyone else have this issue?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Staple Remover

The stapler. A fantastic device which allows one to fasten papers together, attach a poster to the wall, and many other helpful tasks.
Then there's the staple remover. Many of these staple removers look quite similar to the regular staplers. But there is one difference between the stapler and the staple remover. The staple remover, it seems, has rather large, dangerous-looking fangs. It uses these powerful metal canines to take down its favorite prey: rogue staples. Properly tamed, the staple remover can be used by people to help them remove these stubborn staples.
Today, the staple remover is bred to come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Many people own these helpful and loyal creatures. So don't be intimidated by those big, sharp teeth; the staple remover is, in fact, your friend.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Night of the Jolly Ranchers

There is a night which some people would wish to forget. It was a night of games, of eating junk food, of childhood fun, of a birthday celebration. It was also a sleepless night, a contrasting mixture of the exhausted and hyper. Come closer, everyone, and I shall tell you the tale.
I was probably in first or second grade. I went to my friend's birthday party. One of my other friends had brought something wonderful to the party. It was a huge bag of Jolly Ranchers, an amazing hard candy in various fruit flavors. Throughout the night, I ate many of these marvelous sweets.
Then it came time for bed. Like kids always do at sleepovers, we stayed up a while longer, talking and giggling despite adults telling us to be quiet and go to sleep. But even after everyone finally became drowsy and begin to fall asleep, I remained wide awake. I wanted to keep talking. I wanted to play some more. I was full of energy; how could they be wanting to rest? I kept trying to wake them, wanting to stay up, not wanting the fun to end. They were annoyed, and wanted me to go away and let them sleep. Even when I finally gave up, I stayed up a while longer, unwilling, unable, to fall asleep.
Since that fateful night, my friend no longer brings enormous bags of candy to any sleepover or other such event that I'll be at. And everyone who was present at that sleepover is still haunted by nightmares of the infamous night of the Jolly Ranchers.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Characters

People often invent characters in their heads. Whether it's a writer creating a protagonist for their novel, whether it's a character in a reverie we create in our heads, whether it's a child giving their stuffed animal a personality, we create characters in our minds all the time.

But when you stop and think about it, what do these characters really represent? They are the friends or enemies in a made-up scenario about your life. They are the protagonists and antagonists in a fictional story of your creation. They are the imaginary friends of your childhood.

When you delve deeper into it, characters are really so much more. The terrible villain in your fantasy world represents something of your own mind. It represents traits you would not want to possess, someone you would not want to be. The hero of your story has traits you would like to have, in some ways is better than you are. Perhaps they are brave while you are cowardly, patient when you would be short-tempered.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Voice Recognition- Or Not

I watched a brief video online just now. I didn't want to stop listening to my music, so I muted the video and turned the captions on instead.
That was an entertaining mistake. It must have been one of those computerized things that listen to the sound and try to translate it into text. The result was many wrong words, grammar issues, etc. Nothing makes things more confusing than utter gobbledygook constructed by a clueless computer program.
I wonder if that faulty speech recognition software used for the captions is related to the automated phone services. You say something, and the computerized voice says, "I'm sorry. I didn't understand you. Please try again." "Sorry, didn't hear you that time either." "Are you trying to speak Chinese? Let me connect you to a different automated service of eternal migraines."
And they hate my mother. No computer on the face of the earth is capable of comprehending my mom. Why, no one knows. You can tell if she's talking to an automated voice if she says, "Operator. Operator. Operator!"
Technology is wonderful, is it not? So reliable, it works so well... not.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

I Have Returned

I've really been neglecting my blog. I originally planned to post something new at least every few days. Yet I went two weeks without posting anything new. I often couldn't think of much to write, or I didn't feel like working on any of the half-finished drafts for future posts, or I didn't feel like writing anything at all. I need to work on overcoming apathy toward doing things.
Interestingly enough, the thing that made me post was getting in an over-critical mood toward myself. This put me in a 'must accomplish things' frame of mind, which eventually led me to posting on my blog.

Moving onto a new subject... I went to youth group last night. One of the girls taught us a card game. The first player puts any twos they have onto the table, the next player puts down threes, the next player puts down fours, etc. However, if the player does not have the cards that are next, they put down a different card and lie about it. If someone thinks the player is lying about what card they put down, they can call the player out on it. If the player did lie, they must take all the cards in the pile. If the player was truthful, the person who falsely called them out must take all of the cards in the pile. The first person to run out of cards wins.
One of my more evil moments was when I had all of the fives. Soon it was time for one of the players to put down a five. I waited, poised to spring into action. The instant he put down the card he claimed was a five, I called him on it.
After a while, I think we got a bit goofy, though. One of the girls announced that from now on, she was going to call out every time someone put down cards, whether she suspected the player of lying or not. That just made us laugh even more, and we became even more hyper. Soon it was taking forever to get through a turn, between everyone calling each other out, the uncontrollable laughing, and people's attitudes toward having to acquire four thousand cards they didn't want.
Needless to say, we had a lot of fun. It was disappointing when we had to end the game and go home. Of course, the way our energy levels were getting, the game might not have lasted much longer anyway. Definitely something to play again.

Anger and Attainment

It seems to me that sometimes the best time to accomplish things you don't want to do, is when you're in a bad mood. 
Maybe you've been putting off cleaning the bathroom, or reorganizing some shelves in your closet. Redirect that energy into conquering the things you've been procrastinating. Any task you've been putting off, things you know you ought to do but haven't found the gumption to actually do. It's when you have that angry manic energy. That's when you can fulfill some of those goals. You will be ruthless, filled with a mad determination.
One can accomplish much when in the proper state of mind. At least, that's occasionally how it works with me.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year

It turns out that my friend has never seen the 'Karate Kid' movies. So when she invited me to stay at her house for New Year's Eve, I had to bring the trilogy. I inhaled candy, stroked a mixed breed dog named Emma, and chatted with my friend and her mom while we watched the the three movies.
She didn't have cable, so we didn't get to see the New Year's show on TV. I jokingly picked up one of Emma's toys, dropped it, then said, "There, now we've seen the ball drop." And besides, watching movies seems like a pretty good way to enter the new year.
We went to bed sometime after midnight. Then we sat there and chatted for a while before actually turning the light off. Then we talked some more before actually going to sleep. Just because it's called a sleepover doesn't mean that everyone is willing to go to sleep within the century.
I ate a taco for breakfast... well, it started out as a taco, but eventually decided to fall apart. I was left trying to eat pieces of tortilla, ground beef, and salsa that wanted to fall onto the plate instead. I later supplemented this breakfast with chocolate, then salsa and chips. I believe in a balanced diet composed of these food groups: sugar, chocolate, candy, salt, and milkshakes. Oh, and more chocolate. And did I mention candy, and sugar, and more sugar, and more candy...
I happened to make a comment the night before about the movie 'Willow' when I saw it in their movie collection. I said that I'd played the game (NES... my precious...), but had never seen the movie that the video game was based upon. My friend then tried to pull out the DVD, which was near the bottom of a stack that stretched halfway to the Earth's moon. Anyway, we watched 'Willow' after breakfast. I then had my friend watch 'Charlie the Lonesome Cougar', which she enjoyed.
Then we fawned over Emma. I was brushing her short coat, picking up all sorts of loose fur. I pulled some of the fur out of the brush and showed it to her, teasing her about how much she shed. She sniffed the hairs I was holding, then started licking my fingers. My friend and I laughed.
We watched part of a 'Twilight Zone' episode on Netflix before I had to go home. I joked several times about taking Emma home with me and keeping her forever. They wouldn't let me, though. It's almost as though they're kind of fond of her. Then again, my mom wouldn't be thrilled if I brought home a dog anyway, especially considering her allergy to animal dander. Needless to say, when I got home, I put my stuff down and went straight into the shower.
So that's how I spent my New Year's eve and day: eating candy, watching movies, and hanging out with my friend.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Hummingbird

I remember going somewhere with my parents several years ago, when I was still a child. I think we were visiting a car dealership.
The man we spoke to had something amazing. In his hands he held a small hummingbird. The bird, he explained, had crashed into his window earlier. He was waiting until the bird was ready to fly again. He carried the tiny creature with him as he showed us around outside. After a while, the bird finally did decide to take off.
Amazing moments, incredible people, come in many forms and appear in many different places. Including a man who will pick up a tiny creature, stunned and hurt, a man who will watch over the bird, keep it safe. Including at a car dealership, where a small hummingbird decides it is well enough to spread small wings and take to the sky once more. Compassion, love, and the miracles of life can appear at any time, at anyplace.